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IT Leaders Reveal Their First Jobs

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arms pulling pints at a pub

Those who headed straight into programming roles were exceptions, not the rule.

Credit: Getty Images

Tech executives looking for new ways to find skilled workers amidst today's talent crisis should perhaps consider their own first jobs when doing so.

Most of the members of Computing's IT Leaders 100 began their careers pulling pints or selling shoes, rather than coding and calculating. The majority began where most teenagers start.

Ian Hill, director of cybersecurity for BGL Insurance, was "subject to all the apprentice pranks" as a telecom technician at age 16, he says. "Sent to stores for a left-handed screwdriver; told to pour buckets of fresh air down a manhole. You name it, I fell for it."

Mark Ridley, director of Ridley Industries, recalls "working at a garden center jumping in skips [waste containers] to flatten the rubbish."

Nick Hodder, assistant director of digital transformation at the Imperial War Museums, was a ticket office clerk for British Rail. "A lot of the trains were late or cancelled," he says. "Sometimes I thought, 'It can't get possibly get any worse than this.'"

From Computing
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